(December 4, 1835-June 18, 1902)
Born in Langar, England, United Kingdom
Wrote 'Erewhon' (1872), 'Erewhon Revisited' (1901) and 'The Way of All Flesh' (published posthumously, 1903)
Why he might be annoying
After a quarrel with his father over his career, he became a sheep farmer in New Zealand to put maximum distance between himself and his family.
One biographer wrote, 'Butler's heroes were few, and included Shakespeare and Handel. Almost everyone else he despised.'
He developed some idiosyncratic literary theories, such as that Homer's 'Odyssey' was actually written by a woman and that Shakespeare's sonnets, if rearranged, tell the story of a homosexual affair.
Talking to a female friend he believed to be dying, he said 'If you find in the world beyond the grave that you can communicate with me -- that there is some way in which you can make me aware of your continued existence -- promise me solemnly that you will never, never avail yourself of it.' (He noted, 'She recovered and never, never forgave me.')
Why he might not be annoying
He was frequently beaten by his father.
He wrote prose translations of 'The Odyssey' and 'The Iliad' that remain in use.
His 'Erewhon' influenced Aldous Huxley's 'Brave New World' and 'Island.'
He wrote, 'All animals, except man, know that the principal business of life is to enjoy it.'
Credit: C. Fishel
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Year In Review:
In 2016, Out of 6 Votes: 83.33% Annoying
In 2015, Out of 4 Votes: 75.00% Annoying
In 2014, Out of 3 Votes: 66.67% Annoying
In 2013, Out of 9 Votes: 66.67% Annoying
In 2012, Out of 4 Votes: 75.00% Annoying
In 2011, Out of 13 Votes: 15.38% Annoying
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